Date: October 9, 2012
A group of villagers decide to hire Ryo and Atsuro to be lifeguards for the day. Taizen seems to do most the actual work.
Poster's note: Foul language filtered in obvious places.
"The Perfect Mission"
Konohagakure Lake [Konohagakure]
The large opening boasts the main attraction of the area, a murky lake from where the river leading from the Hokage mountain leads towards. The water appears to be a very dark grey color but shines a slightly blue when the sun catches it. Matters of critters come here to drink water in peace who don't seem to bothered by the presence of others strolling or sitting around the lake for a quite day of peace and quite. People often come here to have a quite day with the family or to meditate to the clearly heard mountain stream flowing off the rocks into the river.
Wow, its hot in Konohagakure. All over the nation is feeling the heat wave. People everywhere seem to be looking for places to cool down. It's no different inside the village. Those that are not in doors are either suffering for work purposes or on their way somewhere cool. After a while a couple of people put together enough coin to hire some shinobi as life guards so that they could swim at the lake. The water itself was easily ten degrees cooler than the hot humid air.
"Someone really was not thinking this one through. They put a bald headed boy on the beach and expect him to watch everyone else." Ryo stated. He pulled out a tube of sunscreen and begins rubbing it all over himself, including the bald noggin. "Oh well, guess i have to make the best of it. No kunai, no fireballs, no clones, no swords… About the only painful thing here is the sun." the boy complains as he unrolls a towel. "On the bright side, there is a nice breeze coming off the lake. This isnt so bad." He then looks up and around. He was looking for the other life guard that was paid to be on duty. Supposedly it was a Chuunin. He guessed they wanted Ryo to have a little bit of supervision on this one.
Whatever their reasons for sending a chuunin along, they couldn't have made a better choice than Atsuro. Despite his usual association with dogs, Atsuro can probably outswim the average tuna. And that's to say nothing of Taizen, who comes from a line of great swimmer and can definitely outswim the average Atsuro. The point is that they make excellent lifeguards.
Atsuro agrees with this conclusion, but comes along a totally different line of logic. "I think they thought it through pretty well," he tells Ryo cheerfully as he and Taizen hop out of the treeline. "I mean, you know how good I look in a bathing suit." He wears his usual pair of doggie-print swim trunks and other than the towel slung over his shoulder, he's got no top, allowing everyone to drink in his physique. He flexes and makes a couple of strong-man poses. "The beach is a great location for the sexiest man in the village! Not sure why they had some baldie tag along."
Taizen, as usual, is the less obnoxious one. He trots over to Ryo, barking in greeting and wagging his tail.
So the mission went from borderline acceptable to Ryo's own personal hell. He sighs as he realizes he has to put up with this guy for the paid amount of time. "I think the heat has gotten to your head. You been drinking enough water?" Ryo asked Atsuro. He then turns to Taizen. "I told you not to let him out of your sight. You know how he gets." He is obviously joking with Taizen. He pondered how many others would joke with the ninken. How many others did the ninken put up with?
"That reminds me. I brought some swim trunks to." Ryo states as he pulls down his pants to reveal black and white tiger striped trunks. He then rubs more lotion over himself. "So you think we will run into any trouble? Most these people look like pretty decent swimmers. No one's even gone out real far yet." Ryo states as he scans over the water. The boy's hand reaches down to pet Taizen as he starts the mission.
Ryo's reaction to Atsuro's appearance is obvious enough. "Oh, that's just ridiculous," Atsuro says, raising an eyebrow sceptically, "You come to me for sword training. We trade barbs. You act like a totally different person when I'm around, or so I hear. So don't sigh like I'm the worst thing that ever happened to you." He grins, "Especially when anyone can tell that early-onset male pattern baldness is the worst thing that ever happened to you." Hey-ooooh.
Taizen, not able to respond to Ryo with much of an answer, regardless of what he thinks, simply sits down by the boy and wags his tail. The wagging only increases as Ryo begins to pet him.
"How adorable," Atsuro says, grinning at Ryo's trunks. "Shoulda just worn them in here, though. Kinda scared me when you just pulled down your pants like that." He glances at the lotion. "Mind if I borrow that?" he asks, "In exchange, I'll — well, I'm sure there's something you need from me." He glances out over the beach. "Dunno. You can't really tell with people. I'm sure there's all sorts of stupid shit you can do at a lake. I dunno about you, though, but Tai and I are great swimmers."
There was a little bit of truth in Atsuro's words. Ryo did act like a different person around him and even he knew it. The behaviour he associated with Atsuro was not tolerated at home. Plus most of his friends did not seem the type to understand a good verbal jab. "I do act differently around you. Your ego is so large that it naturally brings out the jerk in me." Ryo states with a grin. He then shakes his head as Atsuro burns him about the baldness. "Bald is beautiful. This noggin of mine allows me to swim like a projectile through the water." Ryo states.
"I can swim, but for this it seems the water walking jutsu might be more beneficial. Just yank them up out of the water by a limb. That way they do not actually pull me under. You have to remember I lack the body of thirty year old." Yeah the age was a bit off, but that was intentional. Ryo then tosses him the bottle of lotion. "Go for it. Yeah, I will probably need my back done." He does not even comment on pulling the pants down. "Feel free to go for a dip Taizen. I might be taking one soon."
"Ah yes," says Atsuro, "That sounds reasonable. And I'm sure non-jerk things like cannonballing in the hotsprings — they must have a reasonable explanation too." He looks away to hide a smug smile. In a way, he's happy that he's made Ryo just a little like him. It's endearing, but even better than that is hearing him try to deny it. "A projectile?" he asks, "I thought the reason you shaved it was so nobody could grab your hair." He rubs his chin. "I have to admit, it would be kinda interesting to see you with hair."
"Hrm," he says, a little more seriously, "Not so sure that's the best idea. Remember, a person is heavy, and in this case, wet. Hauling them up from the water with your hands isn't gonna be easier. Better to be in the water, wrap an arm around them and swim. And don't worry about your body, you've got the hair of an eighty year old." He reaches over to try and shine Ryo's head a little. "Thanks," he says, squirting a little lotion onto his hand and rubbing it on himself. "A lot of people would kill to see this," he tells Ryo. Then he turns to Taizen. "Yeah, go on ahead Tai. I know you've been aching for it." Taizen is only to happy to run into the water and start swimming about.
For a while Ryo ponders why he's never seen Atsuro with a girl. He was almost certain Taizen was a boy. Maybe it took an Inuzuka woman to understand the relationship with the dog and not find certain aspects of it creepy. Kind of like the time the two were playing tug of war with their teeth. How do you chew on a rope and then go kiss a girl? Then again most of the Inuzuka girls Ryo had met were kind of on the bossy side. That was probably the deal breaker for Atsuro. Be it lazy or not smart enough, he probably did not listen well to them. "I shave my head so that I do not need to take care of the hair. Having no one grab it and moving quicker through water are just two of the minor benefits." the boy states as he changes the subject he's thinking on.
"Real funny with the hair jokes, arent you…" he states before considering the possibility of being dragged under. "I guess I am a strong enough swimmer to do it the old fashioned way." Ryo then watches Taizen take off running for the water. "That Taizen is something else. Are all ninken that well tempered?" Ryo asks being a little more serious.
Atsuro has no idea what's going on in Ryo's head, but if he did, he'd have some things to say. But he doesn't, so he doesn't. "Isn't shaving your head taking care of your hair?" he asks instead, "And it seems like that would be more of a pain in the ass than your garden-variety haircut. Do you get someone to do the shaving, or do you do it yourself?"
"I am pretty funny though," he agrees, rubbing more lotion on his skin, "It's partially my natural wit and intelligence and partly the life I lead. I'm sorry, I can't teach it. Still, though, with the proper education, you could aspire to be like me." He glances over at Ryo. "Don't think I've seen you swim," he says, "But as a tiny little baby genin, are you sure you're strong enough?" He glances over to Taizen. "It's his breed," he says, shrugging, "Sweet disposition, loves swimming. Very good at swimming. And partly just him."
For the moment Ryo did not seem to be paying attention to the mission at hand. Some small girl had wondered out too far and slipped on some sand under the water. She started flailing around. Luckily though Taizen was not too far from her.
Ryo shrugged his shoulders. "I shave my own head. It is like the garden variety hair cut once you shave it off. A quick shave around the scalp once each morning and done. I.." Ryo's attention is then turned towards the girl flailing. "Looks like the first work on the day." he states as he moves towards the water. He was pretty sure Taizen would bring her in. He wanted to at least show some interest in the job as he was hired to do it.
"Ah, Ryo," says Atsuro, "Most men start shaving around thirteen or fourteen. You started at… well, I dunno when, but a lot earlier than thirteen, apparently. When /did/ you start, exactly? I mean, you had it when I first met you, so it must have been before eight. Hard to believe a seven-or-less year old was concerned about having to fix his hair and how it would ruin his shinobi career."
He jogs out to see if Taizen needs help with the girl, but there's no need, of course. Taizen quickly swims over, ducks down into the water, then comes up with her arm around him. As if it were the most natural thing in the world, he hauls her over to the shore and lets her down. "Good work," Atsuro says. He kneels down by the girl. "You okay, missy?"
Luckily the girl is ok. Taizen was quick enough that she only got a fright and did not actually swallow any water. The girl seems pretty impressed by the dog and gives Taizen a huge hug. She seems fairly unimpressed by Atsuro. "I'm fine." she states before smiling back at Taizen.
Ryo laughs at the difference in treatment that Atsuro recieved. "Well, we should get back to watching. Yes, I have shaved my head for many years. It is a habit now." Ryo states. He then turns around and gives Taizen a smile. "It is too bad the ninken do not bond well to others outside of your clan. It would be nice to be able to train with one all the time." Finally Ryo reached his place where he had been on the sand. Only a few more hours of baby sitting the public…
Taizen barks happily and wags his tail. Atsuro doesn't really seem to care that much about the girl's reaction to him. Like Ryo, he's basically here for his paycheck. Not that preventing people from drowning is the worst way to make a living. Saving lives and all.
"You're awfully nonchalant," Atsuro tells Ryo, "Not that she drowned or anything, but seriously. Didn't even say a word to her." He grins. "Bet she'd like you." He looks over to Taizen, who has gone back to swimming. "I wouldn't say that," he says, "It's not common, but I think there are people who summon them. I don't know that much about it, so maybe it's a different kind of nin-dog or something, but they exist." He sits down in the sand, not far away from Ryo. "Here," he says, handing him the lotion bottle. He's not super-enthusiastic about the idea of rubbing lotion on Ryo's back, but it's probably better not to let him get a horrible sunburn. "I suppose you want me to rub it on your back now," he says reluctantly.
Ryo glances around and takes one more look at the girl. She was a little younger than him but not that much. "It looked like you and Taizen had it under control. Besides I am a ninja and she is not. I would probably end up being like a circus entertainer or something if we were friends. That or some horrible harsh person for doing one of the floatie missions."
There is a small chuckle from Ryo. He nods. "Yeah. I guess you should, though lets never speak of it." The boy turns to where he is able to watch the water. "Summonable ninken. Interesting."
"Taizen had it under control," Atsuro points out, "I asked her if she was okay. She barely noticed." He shrugs. "I don't know how you made the leap from ninja to circus entertainer, but I guess if that's your concern." He grins. "I wasn't suggesting you'd be /friends/ with her, though. Eh, but I guess you're a little young yet. And apparently you want the boys rubbing lotion on you, so I'll try to avoid making any assumptions from here on out." Dutifully, he squirts some lotion into his hands and starts to rub it on Ryo's back.
"You thinking you wanna summon 'em?" Atsuro asks. "You can't have Taizen, though. He's too busy. Maybe Shinobu or Nozomi, but you're on the same team. You summon one and you've still got the same number of dogs in the fight."
Ryo is not even sure what Atsuro meant. "You seem pretty interested in guys Atsuro. There something you want to say? I mean its not like I've ever seen you with a girl. Thinking about it, Berri might be the closest thing to a girlfriend you've had yet. You are not.. you know?" He doubted the two of them were together.
"I would not mind summoning them but it that seems like it would take work. It could be fun though. Then not just I would be doing a cannon ball, but a summoned friend would be doing one too. Of course they could probably be unsummoned if things got too rough."
"Huh," says Atsuro, "First you suggest I'm gay, then you suggest I'm with Berii. Seems you're a little confused about something?" He grins. "And no, I don't date my students. Balance of power in that relationship would be pretty questionable, wouldn't you say? And Berii's awfully young for me. See, you're a little ten year old, so you don't get these things, but adult relationships are complicated sometimes."
"I dunno much about summons," says Atsuro, "But I think you've got the wrong idea there, maybe. You don't summon them for friendship and get rid of them when they're in danger. They're supposed to fight alongside you." He pauses. "Do you feel lonely?" he asks, "I mean, it seems a little strange that you think you have to summon a friend." He's semi-serious about this. Just in case.
"No, I did not suggest you were with Berii. Thats just the only girl I have ever seen you around. Guess that makes you gay. It's okay Atsuro. You do not have to be ashamed of it, just know ahead of time that I'm really not interested, though I think at my young age your probably not interested in me. Thinking about it with all the talk you do and praise for your own body, it makes sense that you would love the male form. At first I thought you were just in love with yourself." Ryo states. He glances out across the water once more to make sure they had not missed anything.
"I meant if things get too rough from the cannonball. Like people that your not suppose to fight getting angry at you. I would not want to talk a creature into getting into trouble with me and then have someone overly harsh come down on them. As for the fighting, thats different. I think friendship would build a bigger bond and they might fighter harder to help out. You know what I mean? Its not a lonely thing."
"You said she was the closest thing to a girlfriend I have, then asked if we were 'you know,'" Atsuro points out, "Nice try though." He snorts. "And sorry, but I don't find you attractive. I like you as a friend. But don't you worry, I'm sure you'll find the right person someday." He's finished putting the lotion on Ryo by now. "How about some on my back?" he asks, "I mean, this was a favour to you and all, but even as flexible as I am, there are a few spots I can't reach."
"Are you worried about people you're not supposed to fight getting angry at you?" he asks, "That's kinda what I'm taking away from this. But I guess I can see what you mean about friendship. But I don't really know. Depends on how much the bond between summoner and summonee is like the bond between Inuzuka and nin-dog."
"I said she was the only girl I've seen you with, then confirmed it wasnt a creepy situation. As for the right person, I have a ways to go before I even start looking." Ryo then takes the lotion and puts a glob on his hand. "Nevermind on the summons Atsuro. It's pointless shenanigans. A big old dog hops into the pool and gets everyone wet, then you unsummon them."
As Ryo is about to put the lotion on his eyes spot someone wading out way too far. "Looks like we got a brave one out there." He hurries to put the lotion on, probably not the best job. "Lets at least get into place. We really do not want Taizen doing all the work do we?"
"Fair enough," says Atsuro, grinning, "Is she really the only girl you've ever seen me with though? I have to admit, that's kinda funny, in a way. Certainly a weird way to reach that conclusion though. This is kinda a male-dominated profession we're in, even if you're right. As for you finding the right person… normally I'd say that love is right around the corner, but yeah, you've got a while yet." He shakes his head. "Man, sometimes I can't tell when you're joking and when you're being serious. You're kinda a weird kid, you know?"
Now that he's looking right at Atsuro's back, Ryo might notice a couple of tattoos he hasn't seen before. On his upper back is a second pair of Inuzuka fangs. On the lower left side of his back is 'bastard' written in kanji. "Feels like I'm going to have a weird shaped sunburn tomorrow," he says mildly. Yeah, it didn't escape his notice, Ryo!
He gets up and walks to the shore. "Yeah," he says, "Better keep an eye on this one."